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What is National School Meals Week?

National School Meals Week is run by LACA, which is the Local Authorities Caters Association. The week takes place from the 6th to the 10th of November, with the aim of highlighting the pressures the school meals industry are currently facing, along with the issues caterers are dealing with on a daily basis.

We recognise there are challenging times at the moment with the cost of living crisis, rising food costs, issues around staff recruitment and so much more. With that in mind, the value and benefit of great school food and all we are doing to provide quality meals each day shouldn’t be underestimated. For 2023, NSMW will use this to showcase and remind people about the great things LACA members do and the difference they make.

What does National School Meals Week aim to do?

The week always promotes school food, but each year a different theme is chosen depending on what is important and relevant to the industry. The week has tackled issues such as increasing plant based dishes to reduce the carbon footprint, the important link of nutrition and achievement in the classroom, the importance of exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle to name but a few. The event even kept going through the pandemic as it was celebrated safely in school bubbles and we thanked key workers, namely the school catering staff.

LACA uses the event to keep school meals at the forefront of the Government’s mind and many school caterers invite their local MP’s in to schools for a meal with the children. LACA also visit the House of Commons each year, serving the annual school meal in Westminster, allowing for face to face meetings with MPs as they enjoy great school food. Visit www.lacansmw.co.uk/gallery/ to see past events.

The 30th anniversary of National School Meals Week

It is a special celebration this year as it is the 30th anniversary of NSMW. LACA want school caterers to get involved, once again tackling important issues, but not forgetting to have fun and throw a great party to celebrate this milestone.

The 2023 National School Meals Week

For 2023, we are calling on all stakeholders to support our industry again as we recognise there are challenging times at the moment with the cost of living crisis, rising food costs, issues with staff recruitment and so much more. With that in mind, the value and benefit of great school food and all we are doing to provide quality meal each day will be highlighted.

An overview of what National School Meals Week looks like

Monday - Launch day: Enjoy great school food: A fun day to launch the week with pupils' favourites and promote your week of celebrations.

Tuesday - Come Dine With Us: Let’s get parents into dining rooms across the country, where they can sample how great the meals are and to see what a great environment it is to work in.

Wednesday - National Roast Dinner Day: A roast dinner day showcasing the best local British produce, and we challenge you to create the best plant-based version as well.

Thursday - Try something new!: A day to encourage children who haven’t tried meals in a while or to get existing customers to sample some new dishes.

Friday - Happy 30th Birthday NSMW: Let's end the week with one big celebration and invite your local MP or VIP to join in a day of promoting #greatschoolfood and NSMW’s 30th Birthday. Don’t forget the cake!

What are LACA doing?

LACA are asking members to get involved by supporting the LACA 2023 pledges:

You can get behind this by:

To get involved, visit the LACA website for resources, materials and everything you need to help! 

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The YPO Food and Catering Team